(My sincere apologies to everyone for not updating my blogs for a long time. It has been a little tough time for me as I lost one of my grandfathers on January 4, 2012. Therefore, I would like to dedicate this one to him, My True Hero.)
My earliest memories with him are not the incidents my mom, aunt, uncles and brothers are fond of telling, but those I believe to have been created in our private secret moments even if there were always one or more witnesses. Now that he is gone, those memories come as a flashback to me; like a snap that takes me back to my past, my childhood days; one at a time. He had an ever smiling face and a voice that was never loud for he never shouted. A pale face with beard or no beard, he looked like a hero, especially in his younger days’ photographs.
I probably never told this to him but he was more than just a Baa (grandpa) to me. He was someone I could rely upon, someone I can count on. With him, I felt really warm and safe, as if no one could touch me or dare to hurt me. With him I always felt loved and special for I always got treats after dinner. When he spoke of his younger days, I would get lost in his amusing past, trying to imagine places I never visited as if reading a book. There were times when he would make us laugh with the silly stories and times when we would be left in tears. I remember fighting with my brother to sleep with him in the nights and I remember him leaving his bed for me in the lazy afternoons so that I could take my naps. He always made sure tea was made before we reached home and made sure our favorite dishes were cooked for dinner.
He was a loving husband, father and grandfather. I had seen him taking care of Maa (grand mom) ever since I was in Grade 6-7 and when she passed away around 6 years ago, for the first time since childhood, I saw him breaking down to tears. But I thought his love was only for us, his family, which was proven as wrong concept after his death. I never saw him getting angry and mis/ill treating anyone. Even the pigeons he fed lunch were provided with equal love. He did most of the household works from shopping to cooking food even when he had a daughter-in-law. He always loved children and showered them with chocolates and sweets when coming across them.
After he passed away, we were surprised to see many people during the funeral process especially as my mom and her brothers (my mamas) had decided to conduct it in hush with few to witness it. Similarly, there were lots of people who came to the house afterwards to pay respect to him and they all had the same words coming out of their mouth, “He loved us very much.” “He was very loving and compassionate.” “He was a great person.” During this time, I realized that he treated everyone he had met equally with love and respect. Thus, they all respect him as well.
I am not saying he is my hero only because of the above reasons but also because he was a survivor of 4 illness and attacks that include Carcinoma Cancer when the treatment was not only rare but also unheard of and lately of Brain Hemorrhage. He fought back all the illnesses and recovered. Hence, he was a warrior and a survivor. Another reason why he is a hero to me.
Baa taught me many things. He taught me that even the strongest person should be allowed to be weak sometimes. He taught me love conquers all. He taught me about having patience and strong will. He was a compassionate and a loving soul. And I feel blessed to be his granddaughter, his natini, his chhe and to have known him for all these years. Even if he is gone physically, I know that those memories we shared with each other will always help me and remind me of an extra-ordinary gentleman. I pray that he has finally met Maa, wherever they are now and that he is happy and in peace. Wherever he is, he will always remain as My True Hero.